St Patrick's Day parades across Ireland cancelled due to coronavirus concerns

Following advice from public health officials, the decision has been made to cancel parades across the country.

St Patrick's Day parades onlookers all dressed in green and decked out with the tricolour

The official announcement has been made that all St Patrick’s Day parades across Ireland will be cancelled due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.

Cork, which hosts the second largest celebration in the country, earlier today announced that their St Patrick’s Day parades, which attract crowds of up to 50,000 people, were cancelled. It was not alone, as Sligo also reported it will not hold its own gathering.

Now Dublin has made public it is to cancel its own parade, which last year attracted hundreds of thousands of people travelling from all parts of the globe to converge on the city.

The National Public Health Emergency Team have recommended that the National St. Patrick’s Festival Parade in Dublin on March 17th and the mass gathering events at the Festival should not proceed. The Board and Management of St. Patrick’s Festival welcome and support this decision in the best interests of public health.

On the basis of this decision, the following four events will not proceed during St. Patrick’s Festival:

March 17             National St. Patrick’s Festival Parade, Dublin

March 14-17       Festival Village, Merrion Square, Dublin

March 15             Treasure Hunt, Dublin

March 17             Céilí Mór, Merrion Square, Dublin

St. Patrick’s Festival advise that they  “will continue to provide a vibrant and diverse world-class celebration of our national holiday for citizens and visitors alike through our extensive Cultural Programme, more than 100 small to medium scale events including music, theatre, talks and trails, exhibitions and more, running from March 13 – 17.”

St. Patrick’s Festival thanks our artists, partners, funders, participants and volunteers for their understanding, support and patience at this very challenging time. We would ask for continued patience as the Festival team endeavour to communicate with the thousands of participants from home and abroad who are involved in the events which are not proceeding. We would ask the public and media alike to bear with us as we take immediate action to stand down these events.

We invite anyone directly involved in St. Patrick’s Festival events who have questions or concerns, to get in touch on [email protected] We will work hard to address these queries as promptly as possible.

In an interview with RTÉ, Health Minister Simon Harris, stressed the seriousness of the situation, warning that Ireland could see a similar spread of the coronavirus that other European countries have reported.

Since the Dublin announcement, Donegal, Ennis and Kilkenny have shared they will not hold celebrations either. Other areas across the nation had previously announced their own cancellations. It is expected Tipperary will make their decision public later tonight.

Waterford City only recently shared they too will cancel due to “a result of its most recent risk assessment which considered the volume of visitors expected.”

At present, there have been 21 confirmed cases of the virus in the Republic, with Northern Ireland reporting a further 12. Over 1,000 people in the country have been tested. The HSE has not disputed projections that up to 1.9 million people in the Republic may become infected.

To stop the spread of the virus, public health officials advise the public to do the following:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or if not a tissue, use your sleeve
  • Avoid contact with those already unwell

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